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The Maimonidean Controversy

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Chapter Summary

Maimonides strove to create a new intellectual superstructure for Judaism in order to insure its unity and integrity on a pure monotheistic basis. Indeed, such an effort demands continuity with respect to the relationship to the sources and tradition of thought, of law and interpretation, yet it necessarily contains revolutionary elements. From the point of view of the history of Jewish thought in its various currents, the result of the controversy of Maimonides' philosophical method was fierce antagonism between the school of Maimonides's students and the schools of religious thought that took a stand against it. The logic of controversy brings about polarizing of positions and an attempt to define the difference between the camps in all areas, whether in the doctrines of religious faith and their definition, or in theoretical disciplines, or in the methods of interpreting sacred texts to provide support for the warring views.

Keywords: Jewish thought; Judaism; Maimonidean controversy



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